DSLR/Camcorder for Work - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-02-2014, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

The task has been given to me to buy a camcorder for work. After a bit of talking, I convinced them to consider DSLRs as well.

It would be used for anything from interviews to snippets of fundraising dinners we'd have. Sound is very important here. They have expressed that they need to hear the interviewee, and not the room noise (which is a problem they've had before). One guy suggested a lapel mic (which we have: http://www.amazon.com/Rode-Smartlav-Lavalier-Microphone-Smartphones/product-reviews/B00BHN05H2/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1), and I suggested a shotgun mic. Those who use it will probably not be the most video savvy, so that is something to keep in mind as well - but we don't want to dumb it down too much either.

Upon further research perhaps a hyper cardioid is a better choice, but this might be a one man operation for a good amount of shoots - so perhaps the lapel mic is the best bet?

I would be grateful if you guys could recommend some set-ups in the following price ranges, including camera/mic/tripod - $1,500, $2,000, $2,500. We will be outsourcing some of the editing, if that makes a difference. If you have any suggestions (i.e. if you think I need more than one type of mic), please feel free to throw them out there.

Thank you,
Sabin

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-02-2014, 03:53 PM
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The new Sony a6000 has a nice EVF that is not on any DSLR and optional wireless mic that should be great for interviews.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1029860-REG/sony_ilce6000l_b_alpha_a6000_mirrorless_digital.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1029169-REG/sony_ecmw1m_wireless_mic.html



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post #3 of 26 Old 04-03-2014, 04:30 AM
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Nice choice Joe!
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-03-2014, 08:56 AM
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EOSHD review :
Quote:
This is arguably the best current ‘cheap’ camera for video, de-throning the GH2 and GH3. At just $650 it is an absolute bargain.
http://www.eoshd.com/content/12428/surprise-sony-alpha-a6000-video-mode-huge-improvement
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-03-2014, 09:01 AM
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I would be concerned with Bluetooth if audio quality is a concern. UHF with a 3.5mm plugin would be a better option in my opinion. Sennheiser makes good versions. If the people using it aren't tech savvy, don't let them use a shotgun or any directional mic. They are best on a boom pole with a dedicated mic operator. A camera-mounted shotgun is an option if the camera operator can monitor his or her sound levels while recording. I have seen amateurs try to handhold a Sennheiser 416 we had, and they try to hold it out about 6 inches in front of them, completely vertical, and below the jaw - and talk over it. The mic is directional, so it's picking up the sounds bouncing off the ceiling, directly above. Sounds awful when used incorrectly. I would go with the UHF wireless lav and/or handheld dynamic mic like this

http://www.amazon.com/Rode-REPORTER-Omnidirectional-Interview-Microphone/dp/B00B0Y59XS/ref=pd_sim_sbs_MI_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=08GRT0HVZAWZTENJJHPS
http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-Wireless-Microphone-Interviews-Broadcasting/dp/B00EUBGHJ8/ref=sr_1_sc_9?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1396539461&sr=1-9-spell&keywords=senheisser+wireless+handheld+mic

I'd also be concerned about using a DSLR in your situation. If you simply want the larger sensor but want an ergonomic camera that people will get good quality video from, check out the Sony CX900 HD and the Sony AX100 4K cameras.
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post #6 of 26 Old 04-09-2014, 07:25 AM
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I agree with Chevypower here. If sound is important for your interviews and events, and the people using the camera aren't video savvy, I recommend a camera with a mic input (which the A6000 lacks), the Sennheiser UHF wireless plus a good on-camera shotgun as a backup.

If you're recording events, you will also want to make sure to buy a camera that can record for over 30 minutes continuously - DSLRs and Sony mirrorless cameras are limited to 12 to 30 minutes of continuous recording before they have to be restarted.

That said, here are my recommendations:

$1500+ package
'
Camera: Panasonic G6 - about $650

Fast lens for indoors: Olympus 45mm f1.8 - about $360

Camera mounted wireless mic w 3.5mm jack: Sennheiser G3 - about $630

Pistol grip with trigger to make it easier to handle the camera: Rainbowimaging pistol grip - $23

Remote control cable to connect the trigger to the camera: Pixel CL-RS1 - $7.50

$2000 package - same camera and wireless mic, but now it's time to add:

Shotgun mic: Sennheiser MKE600 - about $330

Shock mount: Polaroid - about $15

XLR to 3.5mm adapter: Hosa MIT-156 - less than $20

$2500 package - time to get a large sensor camcorder and avoid the hassle of changing lenses:

Camera: Sony HDR-CX900 - about $1500

Shoe adapter: Sony Multi-Interface Shoe to Universal Shoe adapter - about $30

Camera mounted wireless mic w 3.5mm jack: Sennheiser G3 - about $630

Shotgun mic: Sennheiser MKE600 - about $330

Shock mount: Polaroid - about $15

XLR to 3.5mm adapter: Hosa MIT-156 - less than $20

Hope this is helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
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post #7 of 26 Old 04-10-2014, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion! How well would the included 16-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens perform with indoor events/interviews? This is looking like a very good option as it seems simple enough, is good for both video and photography, and has that wireless mic attachment. I believe bluetooth would be good enough for our uses --- but can you comment as to if there is wired options in case of interference with this camera? Is there a non-bluetooth wireless attachment? Also, would the onboard mics do in a pinch? Thanks!
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Originally Posted by Chevypower View Post

I would be concerned with Bluetooth if audio quality is a concern. UHF with a 3.5mm plugin would be a better option in my opinion. Sennheiser makes good versions. If the people using it aren't tech savvy, don't let them use a shotgun or any directional mic. They are best on a boom pole with a dedicated mic operator. A camera-mounted shotgun is an option if the camera operator can monitor his or her sound levels while recording. I have seen amateurs try to handhold a Sennheiser 416 we had, and they try to hold it out about 6 inches in front of them, completely vertical, and below the jaw - and talk over it. The mic is directional, so it's picking up the sounds bouncing off the ceiling, directly above. Sounds awful when used incorrectly. I would go with the UHF wireless lav and/or handheld dynamic mic like this

http://www.amazon.com/Rode-REPORTER-Omnidirectional-Interview-Microphone/dp/B00B0Y59XS/ref=pd_sim_sbs_MI_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=08GRT0HVZAWZTENJJHPS
http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-Wireless-Microphone-Interviews-Broadcasting/dp/B00EUBGHJ8/ref=sr_1_sc_9?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1396539461&sr=1-9-spell&keywords=senheisser+wireless+handheld+mic

I'd also be concerned about using a DSLR in your situation. If you simply want the larger sensor but want an ergonomic camera that people will get good quality video from, check out the Sony CX900 HD and the Sony AX100 4K cameras.
Thank you! My company likes the idea of a SLR and Video Camera in one. This may sound backwards, but they would be willing to spend more on a SLR than a camcorder. My limit for a camcorder is probably $1000ish, maybe a little bit more - and these guys have given pretty good options for the $1,500 SLR range. Can you explain why you recommend a camcorder over an SLR for my case? Is there anything worth looking at for around $1000?
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Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

I agree with Chevypower here. If sound is important for your interviews and events, and the people using the camera aren't video savvy, I recommend a camera with a mic input (which the A6000 lacks), the Sennheiser UHF wireless plus a good on-camera shotgun as a backup.

If you're recording events, you will also want to make sure to buy a camera that can record for over 30 minutes continuously - DSLRs and Sony mirrorless cameras are limited to 12 to 30 minutes of continuous recording before they have to be restarted.

That said, here are my recommendations:

$1500+ package
'
Camera: Panasonic G6 - about $650

Fast lens for indoors: Olympus 45mm f1.8 - about $360

Camera mounted wireless mic w 3.5mm jack: Sennheiser G3 - about $630

Pistol grip with trigger to make it easier to handle the camera: Rainbowimaging pistol grip - $23

Remote control cable to connect the trigger to the camera: Pixel CL-RS1 - $7.50

$2000 package - same camera and wireless mic, but now it's time to add:

Shotgun mic: Sennheiser MKE600 - about $330

Shock mount: Polaroid - about $15

XLR to 3.5mm adapter: Hosa MIT-156 - less than $20

$2500 package - time to get a large sensor camcorder and avoid the hassle of changing lenses:

Camera: Sony HDR-CX900 - about $1500

Shoe adapter: Sony Multi-Interface Shoe to Universal Shoe adapter - about $30

Camera mounted wireless mic w 3.5mm jack: Sennheiser G3 - about $630

Shotgun mic: Sennheiser MKE600 - about $330

Shock mount: Polaroid - about $15

XLR to 3.5mm adapter: Hosa MIT-156 - less than $20

Hope this is helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution

Wow, thank you. I appreciate all of the time you put into those lists. I have a few questions. First, how well would the Panasonic G6 shoot indoor video with just the kit lens? I don't know if I can sell the idea of a $630 fixed lens to the person in charge. Also, do you know how long you can continuously record with it?

Second, can you recommend a wired mic in case there is wireless interference in the area at the time, or should that be ok all around? I will try to sell the idea of a $630 wireless system, but it will be hard. We're coming from a $60 wired lav mic which they are sort-of happy with (but the cord is too show). Any less expensive options, either wired or wireless?

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #8 of 26 Old 04-10-2014, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabin057 View Post

My limit for a camcorder is probably $1000ish, maybe a little bit more - and these guys have given pretty good options for the $1,500 SLR range. Can you explain why you recommend a camcorder over an SLR for my case? Is there anything worth looking at for around $1000?
1. DSLR biggest expense is getting lenses that make it worth having a DSLR. Kit lenses on DSLRs have little benefit over a very good point and shoot. You are not going to get camera and enough suitable lenses for $1000
2. Any advantage that a DSLR previously had for shooting video (large sensor/low light/bokeh) is negated by newer camcorders with relatively large sensors. Honestly, the CX900 and AX100 produce videos that appear as if they were shot with a DSLR or cinematic camera. But you have a built in zoom lens.
3. Ergonomics. You are restricted to manual zoom with no lever. If you need to zoom while recording (which should be avoided anyway, but sometimes it is necessary), it's going to look bad.

Only go with a DSLR if:

1. Still photography is the PRIMARY use.
2. You are prepared to invest in lenses, lights, and other accessories to make your photos and videos stand out.
3. You are prepared to spend the necessary time to master the art.
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post #9 of 26 Old 04-10-2014, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevypower View Post

1. DSLR biggest expense is getting lenses that make it worth having a DSLR. Kit lenses on DSLRs have little benefit over a very good point and shoot. You are not going to get camera and enough suitable lenses for $1000
2. Any advantage that a DSLR previously had for shooting video (large sensor/low light/bokeh) is negated by newer camcorders with relatively large sensors. Honestly, the CX900 and AX100 produce videos that appear as if they were shot with a DSLR or cinematic camera. But you have a built in zoom lens.
3. Ergonomics. You are restricted to manual zoom with no lever. If you need to zoom while recording (which should be avoided anyway, but sometimes it is necessary), it's going to look bad.

Only go with a DSLR if:

1. Still photography is the PRIMARY use.
2. You are prepared to invest in lenses, lights, and other accessories to make your photos and videos stand out.
3. You are prepared to spend the necessary time to master the art.

Thank you Chevy. Good food for thought. Is there anything less expensive than a CX900 worth a look?

Also, the more I talk to them, the more I feel that the video taking abilities are mostly for interview situations, and the photography will be for events. An event just sounds too complicated for someone who knows little about video production to accomplish.

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #10 of 26 Old 04-10-2014, 05:19 PM
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If you step down to the CX430, you will go from the big 1'' sensor to just a 1/4.'' The PJ790 has a 1/3'' but it's the same price as the CX900, you are paying for a built-in projector.
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post #11 of 26 Old 04-15-2014, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevypower View Post

If you step down to the CX430, you will go from the big 1'' sensor to just a 1/4.'' The PJ790 has a 1/3'' but it's the same price as the CX900, you are paying for a built-in projector.

Thank you!

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #12 of 26 Old 04-15-2014, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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A new challenger!! (Sorry, I have Streetfighter in my head.)

Any thoughts on the BMPCC in relation to other suggestions here?


Also, the time to purchase is coming down on me - so I'd like to get someone's view on video quality of the Panasonic G6 vs. the Sony A6000. I've tried to find comparisons to no avail... probably because they are from different years. Either way, they are similarly prices, so does anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks!

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #13 of 26 Old 04-15-2014, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabin057 View Post

A new challenger!! (Sorry, I have Streetfighter in my head.)

Any thoughts on the BMPCC in relation to other suggestions here?

Fantastic camera, but not for everyone. It can give you an Arri Alexa level image in many instances. Throw on a speedbooster and you have a near Super 35mm crop that becomes an equivalent to 2,500 Native ISO with the added 1 2/3rd stops of light added by the speedbooster. biggrin.gif

If you decide to go the BMPCC route you'll need IR cut filter and ND filters unless you don't mind stopping your lenses way down out in daylight. You can do amazing things with RAW and Resolve that you simply can't with most video or you can get great ProRes video and simply apply a pre-made 3D Lut for the great or a starting point grade. You get that extra dynamic range to protect more highlights and dark details. You can adjust exposure in post. Post workflow has a bit of a learning curve, but nothing you can't get the hang of with a little practice. The BMPCC is a post workflow camera. If you want a camera that you shoot moving images and then you're done and ready to upload then the BMPCC is not the camera you want. It's a post production camera the same way film and digital cinema cameras are.
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post #14 of 26 Old 04-15-2014, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Fantastic camera, but not for everyone. It can give you an Arri Alexa level image in many instances. Throw on a speedbooster and you have a near Super 35mm crop that becomes an equivalent to 2,500 Native ISO with the added 1 2/3rd stops of light added by the speedbooster. biggrin.gif

If you decide to go the BMPCC route you'll need IR cut filter and ND filters unless you don't mind stopping your lenses way down out in daylight. You can do amazing things with RAW and Resolve that you simply can't with most video or you can get great ProRes video and simply apply a pre-made 3D Lut for the great or a starting point grade. You get that extra dynamic range to protect more highlights and dark details. You can adjust exposure in post. Post workflow has a bit of a learning curve, but nothing you can't get the hang of with a little practice. The BMPCC is a post workflow camera. If you want a camera that you shoot moving images and then you're done and ready to upload then the BMPCC is not the camera you want. It's a post production camera the same way film and digital cinema cameras are.

Thanks MT. While we will be sending the footage out for editing, I doubt they want anything that will require too much work, so that answers my question pretty well. I appreciate it.

My mindset on the other options thus far is....

A6000 vs. G6

A6000 will be more simplistic, while the G6 will allow better quality-to-price audio options. But in terms of video quality, both are great. I'm submitting my recommendations soon. I also added the CX900, but don't think they will go for it unfortunately.

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #15 of 26 Old 04-16-2014, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Any last words of wisdom before I take the plunge?

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #16 of 26 Old 04-16-2014, 12:45 PM
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I would get the $647 Panasonic G6. I think you'll regret not having a mic jack if you get the A6000 - and the CX900 costs a lot of money.

Good luck with your decision!

Bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabin057 View Post

A6000 vs. G6
There are a bunch of sample videos from both cameras here:
https://vimeo.com/user803551/videos/page:3
https://vimeo.com/user803551/videos/page:62/sort:alphabetical/format:thumbnail
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post #18 of 26 Old 04-17-2014, 03:31 AM
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Hi Sabin - You may find it helpful to take a look at some of the videos posted on the Panasonic G6 group that I moderate over on Vimeo:

http://vimeo.com/groups/dmcg6

Best,

Bill
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post #19 of 26 Old 04-22-2014, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

Hi Sabin - You may find it helpful to take a look at some of the videos posted on the Panasonic G6 group that I moderate over on Vimeo:

http://vimeo.com/groups/dmcg6

Best,

Bill

Thanks Bill. I got the A-OK to order the G6. Do you think the kit lens will be OK for a start?

Thanks!

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabin057 View Post

Thanks Bill. I got the A-OK to order the G6. Do you think the kit lens will be OK for a start?

Thanks!

Congrats! the kit lens is great for outdoors, but it's a little slow for indoors - and I presume that your interviews and fundraising dinners are indoors?

If so, the least expensive fast, autofocusing glass you can buy is the ~$316 Olympus 45mm f1.8. On a tripod, this will be a great event or interview lens.

Again, hope this is helpful!

Bill
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post #21 of 26 Old 04-23-2014, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

Congrats! the kit lens is great for outdoors, but it's a little slow for indoors - and I presume that your interviews and fundraising dinners are indoors?

If so, the least expensive fast, autofocusing glass you can buy is the ~$316 Olympus 45mm f1.8. On a tripod, this will be a great event or interview lens.

Again, hope this is helpful!

Bill
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Thanks Bill. One last note, and I need you to think like a layman, and not a video guy for a sec. How is the G6 with it's autofocus? I have a feeling that during things like interviews, the person doing the interviews might not always be in mind to make sure the person sitting down is in focus -- say, if they shift or whatnot. Perhaps even during events, I question their ability to manually focus.

Would the G6 be as apt to handle this as the A6000?

---
Ok doing a band search on Sennheiser's page, I've realized wireless mics might not work around work (NYC.) :-( Going to have to research some wired options.

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #22 of 26 Old 04-23-2014, 05:29 PM
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The G6's continuous video autofocus is pretty good. Here's a pretty stressful scenario from Gordon Laing at Camera Labs:





I don't think your interview subjects are going to move that much smile.gif
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post #23 of 26 Old 04-25-2014, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Haha. Thanks again Bill. It come in today and everyone was impressed. I took it home for the weekend or practice on so I can teach them on Monday. :-D

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #24 of 26 Old 04-26-2014, 09:39 AM
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Congratulations and good luck! Have a great weekend, and please let us know how it goes.

Best,

Bill
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post #25 of 26 Old 04-28-2014, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Congratulations and good luck! Have a great weekend, and please let us know how it goes.

Best,

Bill

Hey Bill,

Had a good week of testing. I am impressed with this camera. Tested at record quality of 1920x1080 60p. The one thing I noticed was that f1.8 is probably a bit too wide for interview, as it's easy to get a soft focus on certain parts of the face. Any recommended aperture? I'm thinking 3.5.
Today I decided to shoot at 1920x1080 24p, but oddly it's showing up at 720x480 in Windows. Any thoughts?

Thanks for all of the help!

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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To answer my own questions - it was just Windows Media Player being silly. VLC player showed the correct 1920x1080 at 23.99999whatever fps.

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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